Mistakes most new podcasters make

Creating a new podcast feed?  Don’t rush it

So a while back, October 2013 I had made a new podcast feed using Feedburner and published a few podcasts over time.

Recently I found myself in a spiritually creative space where I wanted to create more…and so I did!  At some point though, my Feedburner Feed stopped updating.

Since I’d used (at the time) a fairly classic method to set up my podcast feed, using Categories and WordPress and Feedburner, I didn’t initially notice.

Once I started using the Blubrry WordPress plugin properly though and thinking about other places where I could publish my podcast feed however, I noticed that my feed was not updating anywhere.  Oh dear.

Mistakes many new podcasters make

I rushed it.  I did some things right and some things wrong.  A feed that doesn’t update however is about as good as a chocolate teapot.

Here’s some mistakes I made, I hope they may help you on your creative journey.

  1. I used the Feedburner feed as my published feed for iTunes, Blubrry etc.
  2. I added too many pictures and links to my podcast post pages at Mom On A Spiritual Journey and they caused errors.
  3. I managed to create an invalid feed which I then had to untangle.

In order to untangle this mess, I found some useful links and developed some new skills.  And spent a day tearing a little of my hair out, but I got there!

You don’t need to use Feedburner unless you want to!

I didn’t realize this until after I read all the documentation for the Blubrry wordpress plugin.  You can publish a podcast using your own podcast feed such as

http://www.example.com/feed/podcast

You can still create a Feedburner feed later using your site’s proprietary podcast link if it’s useful for you in other places.

Keep your podcast post page simple if you are broadcasting from an existing blog

Too many pictures cause errors for your feed and could possibly invalidate it, causing you some time figuring out which pictures to delete from previous podcasts posts.

Some HTML is disliked by feeds too.

Keep it simple and you won’t have to use this feed validator over and over to figure out what you did wrong like I did.

http://validator.w3.org/feed/

An invalid feed will not update

I had got too clever too fast with my feed and caused problems with publishing.  Once I simplified my blog posts (and I also had to remove my ico file – the little file that gives my blog site an icon in browsers) and took out extraneous links, all was well.

That was a relief.

Mistakes most new podcasters make

Well, those were my mistakes.  I hope the resources here will be useful for someone else working with the same head-scratcher.

I also found ProBlogger’s approach very useful.   Here are some links that you may find helpful on the podcasting journey.

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/darren-rowse/problogger-podcast-blog-tips-to-help-you-make-money-blogging

(Definitely use the Stitcher app to publicize your podcasts – they are really helping my viewing figures).

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/sarah-at-mom-on-a-spiritual-journey/mom-on-a-spiritual-journey

Using Blubrry Powerpress to create a podcast straight from your WordPress blog.

http://create.blubrry.com/resources/powerpress/using-powerpress/creating-your-first-episode-with-powerpress/

Not enough to blog about? 5 tips

Enough to blog about?

Sometimes it can be tough to get into the creative flow.  Many of us blog part time or to support a business, or for pleasure or therapy (or both!).

How not to stay in the creative flow…

When I first started blogging (2010) I set myself the hardest task possible.  Sit at a blank screen, the post page on my blog, and write.  Aagh.

One thing I have learned on my travels is that the human brain needs a hook to hang things on.  As a business trainer I could never warm up a room of new trainees with ‘So, what do you think?’  It never worked.  ‘What do you think about ____________’ always did because the brain is given a hook to start with.

So a blank screen is not much of a hook.  Well, it’s a hook to blankness, that’s for sure.

Give your brain a hook to hang things on

For those of us starting to blog, or even having been on the journey a while, stuck-ness can happen.

So here are some ways to get your brain going and help with the creative flow.

  1. Move away from blankness.  No sitting in front of a blank screen, notepad or typewriter, unless you are ready to roll and nothing is going to stop you.(That’s how Maeve Binchy used to just sit down and let it all out at once on the typewriter, I read recently).Go out and walk, get coffee, watch a funny video.  If you do go out, take your notebook with you.
  2. Get in the habit of note-taking.  I have a notepad in my bag, some at my desk in the basement and some upstairs on the kitchen counter.Inspiration can gallop through you at the oddest times.  When it’s galloping, write it down!I also like the Wunderlist app, I have a blog post section and type stuff in there when it pops in if I feel like doing it that way.  It’s a nice feeling to always know there is a list of titles hanging out there just for me to look at.
  3. Editorial calendar?  If you like the feeling of a solid schedule, do this.  There are WordPress apps, or you can simply create a pinboard or whiteboard or a place where you shuffle yellow stickies around.I tried these but they don’t work for me.I work best setting a main theme and letting the inspirational energy flow each week.  One example is this podcast series about the 7 Cosmic Laws of Kryon.  I am totally inspired by it and can’t wait to find out what I’m going to say each week!A completed calendar doesn’t work for me because I feel to enclosed and then I rebel.  Do what suits you, but do something even if it’s just the odd yellow sticky stuck on your computer screen or near your writing place.  It’s back to that hook for your mind and brain.
  4. Relax and have fun.  This is supposed to be fun!  How can your creative muses make contact with you if you are all scrunched up and tense and grumpy about your blank screen or piece of paper?In my case, regular yoga does the trick and keeps the energy flowing.  As long as it’s something you love, it will work.
  5. Learn to recognize the creative flow in your body and your mind.  For me, I am aware of inspirations ‘popping into my mind’.  It’s as if a thought has suddenly appeared, when it wasn’t there at all before.There’s a definite lightness of spirit around when I’m ready to write.  It may just have been after something made me laugh really hard and I want to tell a friend.That ‘I want to tell someone’ feeling.  Or a sense of openness.  Start noticing what your creative flow feels like!

5 tips and hooks for your brain

Work with the hook for your brain principle and these 5 tips, and I guarantee you’ll have plenty to blog about.

Let me know how this works for you.  What are your favorite ways to unblank your brain and get creative juices flowing?